One other thing - there's a big industry out there trying to persuade you you need to spend a lot of money on performance equipment, clothes, safety gear etc, and there are a lot of people who have bought into it and will tell you the same. You really, really don't need most of it.
I cycle 7 miles to work, but I try not to go very fast, so I don't need performance kit and I don't need a shower at work. I just need a few glasses of water, ten minutes to cool down and a change of clothes.
I have a 1932 Raleigh 3 speed bike with rod brakes, and I commuted to the City every day on that for quite a few months. Yet to read the cycling press and some of the forums, you'd think unless you have a sub 10Kg carbon fibre frame, disc brakes and a pocket full of energy gels you might as well give up and go home, you'll never even make it to the end of the road.
The reality is that for most of us a sports-oriented bike is both more expensive and less practical than the type of sit up and beg you are thinking of.
If you turn into someone who wants to use their commute as a sports activity that's different of course. But the point is you don't HAVE to.
Why? off the top of my head...
If a bike is going to fit my lifestyle it's got to ... well, fit into my lifestyle!
Why would you ever buy a vehicle you can't leave outside?
Yep, because suitcase-sized, bulky and unwieldy are three things I can never get enough of when I'm choosing a handbag even better if there's muddy wheels and an oily chain in the mix
A suitcase on wheels is convenient compared to a suitcase not on wheels, but it's not as convenient as not having a suitcase at all.
Sorry FPR, you aren't going to convince me that having to carry a brompton any time I'm not riding it is more convenient than locking a cheap bike up outside.
I've got a few bikes, including a Brompton, and the Brompton probably gets used least.
It's useful at times, particularly when heading out of London on the train but humping it around can be a hassle. On Thursday for instance I will be locking my cheaper bike up with a good lock before going to the pub to watch football rather than trying to squeeze in with a brompton.
In fact I actually have too many bikes if anyone is looking to buy a commuter bike, would suit someone short-ish http://www.harringayonline.com/forum/topics/single-speed-bike-for-s...
In terms of locks, this is probably the best security for the price, it's not light though and may be a bit of overkill
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